Bending Wood and Stretching Strings
OK, confession time – I was that kid in grade school who constantly found himself in trouble for disassembling any number of objects. Stereos, lawn mowers, televisions – if I had a desire to understand how something worked, to get a feel for what made it tick, I took it apart. For the most part, I was usually able to reassemble that which my hands had undone, but . . . there were exceptions (unfortunately).
One object in our home that even my hands couldn’t tackle was my mother’s piano. So when author James Barron came out with a book aptly titled “Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand,” I was immediately hooked. The book takes you behind the scenes at the Steinway factory in Queens, New York as a team of cabinet makers and other artisans produce concert grand number KO862.
I devoured the book when it came out in the Summer of 2006 but never realized that a feature length documentary film was also in the works at about the same time that Barron’s book came on the scene.
In “Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037,” director Ben Niles takes you through the entire process – from start to finish. Everything is covered – from the initial wood selection, to bending the piano’s signature outer rim in the workshop. It’s a must see for music lovers and woodworkers alike!
Not into actually tickling the ivories? Not a problem – have a look at reader Terry Schneider’s conversion of a piano into a tool chest.